5E The Charismatic Fighting "Hero" - Which Core Class does it Best?

Which Class does the "Warrior Hero" Archetype best?

  • Battlemaster Fighter

    Votes: 11 11.7%
  • Paladin

    Votes: 51 54.3%
  • Valor Bard

    Votes: 19 20.2%
  • Other - Note in the Thread

    Votes: 13 13.8%

  • Total voters
    94

Stalker0

Adventurer
It is a very common fantasy troupe. The warrior hero on a quest. His charisma and drive draw in fellow travelers, and eventually he is leading a small group against the big bad.

This has often been an awkward troupe in dnd terms for as long as charisma has been a dump stat for fighters. And yet in 5e there are some ways to make the charismatic fighter that inspires and is the true leader of the team work mechanically.

In this poll, we want to judge which core class (no splats) with standard rules (no feats, magic items, etc) pulls off the sterotype best at 6th level.

Ultimately the judgement is based on 3 criteria:

1) Fighting power. The hero is still a warrior at heart. While he may be the charismatic leader, he still kicks butt when the time comes.

2) Charisma as a mechanical asset. Its easy to say "get persuasion + charisma = win", but we are looking at what classes actually incorporate charisma into the class, as opposed to just window dressing.

3) Ability to inspire and improve a party. Again, we want to show some mechanics as to why a group follow this person. How does this leader "lead" using the mechanics of the game?


I've boiled the list down to 3 main choices. But of course I suspect people will argue that, so I've left an other option for your thoughts.

1) Battlemaster Fighter: The fighter's fighter, he boasts strong direct fighting power and the most straightforward flavor representation of the "warrior hero". Through the use of the "Commander's Strike" and most importantly "Rally" maneuvers, he uses his charisma to guide and inspire his allies on the battlefield.

2) Paladin: The shining knight. Also boosting a strong fighting power, the paladin protective aura literally puts his charismatic light as a shield for his fellow. The paladin also boasts spells that boosts his fellows fighting power.

3) Valor Bard: While the valor bard doesn't have the fighting power of the others, the class possesses an incredible ability to inspire others. Whether its a skill check or an attack roll, the valor bard lets his team operate beyond their limits. And when that is not enough, he brings powerful buff spells to the arena.


So which class does it best? Which is the best representation of the archetypical "warrior hero"?
 
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Sorry for the non-fitting answer:
Any good role-player with a melee-capable PC with some decent Charisma. ;)
No matter if barbarian or swashbuckler or bladesinger or your examples.
 

jayoungr

Explorer
What about the Purple Dragon Knight from SCAG? Seems like that was an attempt to fill this niche as well, though I don't have an opinion on how good a job it does because I've never seen one played.

EDIT: Oops, I missed the part that said "no splats." Sorry about that!
 
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Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
What about the Purple Dragon Knight from SCAG?
To be fair, it's easy to forget that one. ;)

Seems like that was an attempt to fill this niche as well, though I don't have an opinion on how good a job it does because I've never seen one played.
Nor have I, but then I haven't seen a lot of character turnover (I haven't seen a barbarian yet, either).
 
I would have put Rogue (Swashbuckler), Hexblade and College of Swords ahead of Battlemaster. I have never seen a charismatic battlemaster. Can I give battlemaster a negative vote?
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
Assassin Rogue/Gloomstalker Ranger multiclass.

The whole "I shall save thee!" knight in shining armor types are chumps. But they're useful for finding and trigger traps, I guess.

Maybe the answer to this question depends on how you define "heroic"...
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
A reminder this is core books only, that’s the reason that many of the classes posted were not considered
 

jgsugden

Explorer
Hexblade.

You get to be a great weapon fighter, you can maximize your charisma without losing fighting ability, and you have at least 2 spells per SR to buff allies, etc...

However, I can build a great 'charismatic leader' in a cleric, rogue, bard, paladin, ranger, fighter, druid... any class really.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Though I think it’s more about how the character is played than anything, I went with the Paladin. They’re strong in combat, charismatic, and have that aura. Valor Bard I’d put at a close second to the paladin, but in my experience, they don’t have the staying and melee power. Most of the Battlemaster Fighters I’ve seen at the table focus more on themselves with their maneuvers and are rarely that charismatic.
 
It is a very common fantasy troupe. The warrior hero on a quest. His charisma and drive draw in fellow travelers, and eventually he is leading a small group against the big bad.
This has often been an awkward troupe in dnd terms for as long as charisma has been a dump stat for fighters.
Also, the questing warrior-hero rarely casts spells.

Ultimately the judgement is based on 3 criteria:

1) Fighting power.
Fighter & Paladin.

2) Charisma as a mechanical asset.
Bard & Paladin.

3) Ability to inspire and improve a party.
Bard & Paladin.

No contest really. Paladin hits all three squarely. Valor Bard, not quite tough enough, Fighter tough but nothing else to an appreciable degree.

If we do go back and consider that the archetype doesn't typically use a lot of his own magic, though, the Paladin's victory isn't complete. Drawing a distinction between 'Faith' and 'Magic' helps, but only for the charismatic warrior-heroes in the mold of Galahad/Percival.

So the Paladin does a sub-set of the Archetype very well, indeed, and the rest imperfectly, but, on balance, better than the other two.
 
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TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
I tend to associate this trope with classic JRPG heroes, and the best fit for that (good fighter, support and healing magics) is easily a paladin.
 

Mort

Community Supporter
Assassin Rogue/Gloomstalker Ranger multiclass.

The whole "I shall save thee!" knight in shining armor types are chumps. But they're useful for finding and trigger traps, I guess.

Maybe the answer to this question depends on how you define "heroic"...
Likely this was meant tongue mostly in cheek - but I really do love the fact that 5e has gone to great lengths to (mostly) divorce the Paladin from the knight in shining armor cliche.

Heck my current Paladin PC has the highest deception and stealth in the party and can pick locks too (granted that's because the party doesn't have a rogue, but the flexibility is nice).
 

Mercule

Adventurer
Though I think it’s more about how the character is played than anything, I went with the Paladin. They’re strong in combat, charismatic, and have that aura. Valor Bard I’d put at a close second to the paladin, but in my experience, they don’t have the staying and melee power. Most of the Battlemaster Fighters I’ve seen at the table focus more on themselves with their maneuvers and are rarely that charismatic.
Agree with the basic premise, but I voted valor bard. The charismatic leader is rarely the best straight-up fighter in the group. He usually wins by either having great will/resolve (which favors the paladin), by being creative and cunning (which favors the bard), or by being able to inspire his companions to be better than they thought they could be (which also favors the bard).

Either answer could work, but I prefer playing bards.
 

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